OKLAHOMA CITY — The No. 1-ranked Oklahoma Sooners have started the Big 12 Tournament out on the right foot.
Run ruling the Baylor Bears 10-2 in their first game of the weekend, OU just has to beat Texas Tech Friday evening to punch their ticket to Saturday’s Championship Game at USA Hall of Fame Stadium.
In their three regular season games, OU outscored Tech 40-0.
It would be the Bears who struck first in Friday's opener, taking advantage of Oklahoma pitcher Shannon Saile in the first inning.
Initially struggling to find the strike zone, Saile let batter after batter get ahead in the count, allowing Baylor to play the role of the aggressor. Second baseman Emily Hott go aboard with a single, and then a throwing later in the inning led to Tiare Jennings overthrowing Jana Johns in an effort to get Hott out at third, allowing her to score.
One batter later, Taylor Ellis’ RBI single put Baylor up 2-0.
In the second inning, the Sooners struck back.
Taylon Snow’s sacrifice fly to deep center drove Grace Lyons home to cut the lead to just a run, but then Jayda Coleman’s three-run bomb busted the game open, putting Oklahoma ahead for good.
An inning later, Kinzie Hansen turned on a one-out offering and launched Oklahoma’s second homer of the day to push the lead to 5-1. Three batters later, Mackenzie Donihoo reached base with a double, driving in senior Nicole Mendes to add to the lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Hansen hit another bomb, her second home run of the day, past the wall in center field. The Oklahoma catcher plated Jocelyn Alo and Tiare Jennings to extend the Sooner lead to 9-2.
With runners on second and third in the bottom of the fifth, Jennings’ sacrifice fly capped off the Sooner win in run-rule fashion.
Steadying the ship after the first inning, Saile punched out 10 Baylor batters, allowing six hits and issuing just two walks.
In her Big 12 Tournament debut, Coleman finished 2-for-3 hitting, driving in three RBIs and drawing a walk. Alo was 2-for-4 at the dish, and Hansen finished 2-of-3, driving in four RBIs with her pair of home runs.
Oklahoma’s second game of the day against Texas Tech is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. from Hall of Fame Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.